In almost every article you can find, Multiple Sclerosis Autoimmune disease classification is presented as a given. And while this is certainly the general consensus, Multiple Sclerosis Autoimmune disease classification is not unanimous. Those that disagree with the MS autoimmune label claim that this assumption is why no cure has been found and that if researchers would get “outside the box” of general thinking they may find more effective treatments.


MS autoimmune disease label questioned, but the inflammatory label is not


MS is most certainly an inflammatory disease.  The people affected with the disease have myelin sheath damage.  This damage causes scarring, or sclerotic spots and inflammation.  None of those statements are debated.  The main reason for the spots is still largely unknown, but if the myelin sheath is attacked by the body’s own immune system, doesn’t that make it an autoimmune disease?

When the body exhibits immunity, it is attacking foreign bodies or matter that enters the body. Autoimmunity is defined as the body not being able to differentiate the foreign matter that needs attacked from the body’s own healthy cells that should be left alone.  In the case of myelin, it is natural and necessary to the central nervous system functioning correctly.  So if the immune system is indeed attacking the myelin, thus causing the scars and the symptoms, the Multiple Sclerosis Autoimmune disease classification would seem to fit.  The immune system identifies the myelin as foreign material and destroys this “white matter”.  Most pharmaceutical research has gone into trying to stop the immune system from destroying the myelin or regenerating myelin, known as remyelination.


A different idea


Some researchers, most notably from the University of Glasgow in the Netherlands, criticize the Multiple Sclerosis Autoimmune disease classification and instead say that the cause of Multiple Sclerosis is malfunctioning of astrocytes.  They theorize that the astrocytes go awry in MS patients and the damage begins to spread elsewhere by some other chemical messenger.

Astrocytes are the most common of all the brain cell types and they do play an important part in the functioning of nerve cells, or neurons.  Further, studies in Sweden show that they are directly involved in regulating the signaling between the nerve cells.  This alternative theory postulates that the myelin damage is a result of the malfunctioning astrocytes and therefore the Multiple Sclerosis Autoimmune disease classification essentially has researchers barking up the wrong tree.


Could this be why alternative therapy seems so effective in many people?


The whole argument around Multiple Sclerosis Autoimmune disease classification is very complicated and academic to the layman.  But it could hold clues to why alternative treatments are effective when they don’t address the MS necessarily as an autoimmune disease but instead use a more holistic approach.  CCISV comes to mind.  And even more importantly all the success reported simply from controlled and specific diet and exercise modification.  Success with Yoga, Massage, Acupuncture and other alternative treatments have rid many patients of their MS symptoms.

This debate is unlikely to be resolved in the immediate future, but it should encourage the MS patient to look at treatments outside the realm of conventional medical treatments, none of which have found a cure yet.